The scientific method works as an objective, fact-based method for making new discoveries and learning new ways of doing things. Management science attempts to apply this same approach in dealing with problems that arise within business operations. Its use as a problem-solving approach finds applications in areas such as decision-making, design processes and strategic planning.
The management science approach originated during World War II as a means for making the best use of available resources within military operations, according to the Encyclopedia of Business. By studying existing strategies and tactics, the military hoped to gain a better perspective on where resources could best be used. The success of this approach soon found its way into the business world after World War II. Technological advances and economic growth saw business managers wanting to make the most of their available resources. The management science approach proved an effective means for maximizing resources and reframing large operational problems into manageable scenarios.
Management science also goes by the name operations research, which pretty much explains the approach management scientists take when working in a business setting. Just like the scientific method, the management science approach identifies a problematic issue or process within a business' operations. It then develops possible theories for how the problem developed and designs possible solutions. Scientists develop models from which to test proposed theories and gather data from the results. Analysis of the data then provides practical solutions for solving a problem.
The management science approach uses mathematical models of analysis to apply the scientific method to business operations or processes. Mathematical models uncover relationships between related and unrelated variables, such as number of employees versus number of products produced within a manufacturing environment. A mathematical model can uncover unknown problem areas, such as equipment designs that slow the overall production process. The results obtained from mathematical models enable decision-makers to develop solutions based on the resulting data.
The use of management science within business operations can translate systems and processes into measurable terms. In effect, the approach brings a new and practical perspective on how different areas of an organization work together and affect its overall output or effectiveness. Measurable results provide opportunities for decision-makers -- who work in seemingly unrelated processes, systems or departments -- to work toward a common end goal. As a result, the management science approach plays a vital role within large, complex operations such as government organizations, mass transit planning and criminal analysis and investigations.
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